Today, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO), Chair of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment Ranking Member David Rouzer (R-NC), and Chair of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA) released the following statements after yesterday's introduction of the Water Resources Development Act of 2022 (WRDA).
"WRDA projects provide benefits to our communities throughout the country and to the entire U.S. economy," Ranking Member Graves said. "By improving navigation through our ports and inland waterways, strengthening flood control and river management practices, and addressing other water resources infrastructure, WRDA is vital to American families, businesses, and farms everywhere. This commonsense bill takes a big step forward in making flood control and navigation the top priorities in managing our rivers. It places strict limits on the supersized science experiments on the Missouri River, gives local levee districts along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers more tools to protect our communities from future floods, and makes new headway in addressing longstanding bank erosion issues on the Lower Missouri River. It's a great example of how Republicans and Democrats can still work together on bipartisan legislation that truly puts Americans first."
"I am pleased to continue the proud tradition of moving WRDA packages in a bipartisan manner," Chair DeFazio said. "This legislation comes at a critical time as we look to make a full economic recovery from the pandemic by investing in our ports and harbors, which will help ensure America stays competitive in the global economy. Additionally, this legislation will continue our work to respond to the impacts of severe weather and climate change by building resilient communities, restoring our critical ecosystems and natural infrastructure, all while addressing the affordability of Corps' projects in urban and, rural communities that may be struggling financially. I look forward to bringing this important piece of legislation to the House Floor without delay."
"The more people hear about what is happening in Washington, the more they think it is broken. However, WRDA has been an exception to this," Subcommittee Ranking Member Rouzer said. "Every two years since 2014, Congress has passed a WRDA bill to improve our Nation's water resources infrastructure through locally driven investments. From policies to address inland and coastal flooding, to initiatives to improve our ports and inland waterways, this meaningful legislation is critical to address the unique needs of communities across the country and to strengthen the entire U.S. economy. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle here on the Committee and the full House to keep this institutional tradition intact."
"I thank Chair DeFazio, Ranking Member Graves, and Ranking Member Rouzer for once again working together on this bipartisan legislation that has become one of the most reliable bills Congress produces every two years," Subcommittee Chair Napolitano said. "Members are hearing from their constituents regarding the varied water resource challenges faced in each region of the country, from flooding to drought to water quality to maritime transportation, and Congress's commitment to this legislation recognizes the differing needs of each region and supports local communities in addressing their water problems. I am particularly grateful for provisions in this bill that support Native American Tribes, local governments, and improved water reliability in the drought-stricken West."
This legislation provides authority for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to carry out critical water resources development projects and studies. Regular consideration of locally-driven, rigorously-studied, and nationally-significant water resources infrastructure is key to preserving our nation's economy, strengthening U.S. and international commerce, protecting our communities and businesses, and maintaining our quality of life.
Specifically, WRDA 2022 authorizes 72 new feasibility studies, eight studies for the modification of existing Corps projects, and construction of 16 pending proposed projects with final Chief's Reports within the Corps Civil Works mission areas, including navigation, flood damage reduction, hurricane and storm damage reduction, shoreline protection, and ecosystem restoration.
This legislation--which the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has developed and passed on a bipartisan and biennial basis since 2014--is critical to all 50 states, territories, and Tribal communities. The Committee plans to mark up this legislation on Wednesday, May 18, 2022. More information, including bill text, can be found here.